2024-06-22 8:30 AM

The Major Media’s False Equivalency

nfbenton-mugIt’s the major media’s insistence on a non-existent moral equivalency between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that is doing more to threaten democracy in the U.S. than even Donald Trump himself.

Those who would love to push this nation down the road to an arbitrary suspension of democratic institutions and civil liberties, and there are growing numbers of such persons, are having their dangerous proclivities reinforced by a shameful “know nothing” national press corps, especially on TV, that insists its role is merely to referee and to dare cast no judgments on the veracity of what anyone may be saying.

The Trump campaign has become an overwhelming force of mendacity to the point that almost nothing it says can stand to be put against a searing prism of truth. Its very context, its core paradigm, is rooted in a false premise that Donald Trump is what he appears to be.

He is not, and an examination of his tax returns would demonstrate that clearly.

He is a con man, a faker, a shyster, a liar to the core of his being and he commands advisers and surrogates who are as deeply planted in falsity as he is himself. They shamelessly parrot and repeat lies and techniques of deflection and deviancy. It is like a gang of thieves and cutthroats, and on the perimeter, twisted and evil cheerleaders are placing their bets that this operation can take over the whole damn country.

Among the problems here is that average Americans, now being preoccupied with the gladiator sport of football, are eager to insist it just can’t be that bad, the same way they are watching in real time as football players literally bash their brains out. Literally.

But just as it is with football, it really is that bad. Literally.

The one institution in our democratic society that can call out this process is the free press. It can and its duty is to insist on a standard of truth, not equal time, to protect democracy.
But it’s actually pushing things in the opposite direction by reinforcing the false equivalency concept between campaigns and parties.

That hogties the ability of the candidates to do the truth-telling, because the media is there to insist that whatever any candidate says is just their opinion, just their self-serving tactic to gain an upper hand. There is no truth.

Cynically, they insist that there is no virtue in politics, only self-serving egos and greed. That may be true for Donald Trump, but that is no reason to apply the same standard to Hillary Clinton.

The Trump tactic is to win by dragging the reputation and public perception of Clinton down to his level, and thanks to a compliant media, he’s succeeding.

Imagine taking something as meritorious as the Clinton Foundation, with all it is accomplishing for good in the world, and treating it like it is the Clinton’s personal slush fund.

All the tricks of the trade involving playing upon hidden and real fears and prejudices are being deployed by Trump, including racism and, yes, sexism. All the suspicions that our white male dominated society hold for women, especially intelligent and strong women, are aroused and directed against Hillary Clinton.

For her entire adult political career, she has had to fight this fight, something so subtle but vile that only someone in her exact shoes can fully appreciate it.

President Obama has an idea of it, and that’s why he declared himself a feminist last month. All those who aspire to a just and equitable society must be feminists, too.

Just try being an “uppity woman,” and find out what kind of filth can erupt out of the minds and mouths of male chauvinist pigs and their admirers, as former CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien experienced when she blamed the major media for “profiting off of the hate speech” that has fueled Trump’s rise, and the emails and online comments that were posted against her as a result.

O’Brien had called out Trump for “softening the ground for people who are white supremacists,” and the media for thinking that “hateful speech brings a really interested, angry audience.”





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